PHIL 331 M & W 1:00 – 2:15 DAVIDSON 208B SPRING 2012

Instructor: John Gibson. Office hours: M & W 9:30 - 10:55, or by appointment. Office: 313D HUM Office Telephone: (502) 852-0452 Email:

*The instructor reserves the right to make reasonable changes to the syllabus during the course of the semester. Changes will always be announced to the class well in advance and will normally be limited to postponing or cancelling assigned readings (for example, if the class falls behind schedule).
A) COURSE DESCRIPTION An introduction to some of the core problems in contemporary aesthetics. Students will be introduced both to the central problems in the philosophy of art and to the practice of engaging in the philosophical exploration of the content of specific artworks. Special attention will be given to the following issues • • • • • The nature of art The structure of aesthetic judgments & experience The relationship between art, truth and morality The nature of emotional responses to art The nature of artistic meaning and the role of interpretation in uncovering it.

EXPECTATIONS: My general expectation is that students will approach the various theories we will discuss in this course as each offering us a vocabulary with which to offer a story of what art is and the role it plays in our culture. My hope is that by the end of the semester students will have developed an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each of these vocabularies (what each allows us to say of value about art and aesthetic experience) and will be able to use them effectively and creatively in discussing specific artworks. Essays that demonstrate an understanding of this will, other things being equal, receive good goods. Those which do not will receive low grades.
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Midterm: 25%. Final Exam: 35%. The final will be cumulative. One Term Paper: 30%. Term papers are longer (7-8 pages). Participation: 10%: For the purposes of this course, it will suffice to define ‘participation’ as: regular attendance coupled with constructive contribution to discussions.

I will only read a draft if (a) it is printed and reasonably edited (no scribbled notes. *Depending on discussion and other factors.February 3rd . B. The Art Question (Routledge.2 Students may ask me to read drafts of their essays. 2003). AQ. a B+ will be a B if a student has missed three courses).27th M: Chapter 2. The Art Question (AQ 3rd week: January 23rd .e. 1. AQ. Nigel Warburton 2. After that. Arguing about Art.) D. SCHEDULE *Students should expect to read 60 or so pages a week. overall grades will drop by a letter with every absence (i. This includes excused absences. W: Introduction and Chapter 1. (Routledge. 2:30-5:00pm C. 4th week: January 30th . 1st Week: January 9th – 13th M: Course Intro W: Discussion: Why Does Art Matter to Philosophy? 2nd week: January 16th – 20th M: Martin Luther King Day: no class. Spring break: March 12th-18th Term Paper: April 16th Final: May 1st. If you are sick and require an extended absence from class. IMPORTANT DEADLINES: • • • • • Midterm: February 22nd Last day to withdraw: March 1st.. REQUIRED BOOKS: *All texts are available at the main campus bookstore. Drafts will be read during my office hours or a prearranged appointment with the student present. W: Chapter 3. we very likely spend more (or less) time on a text than indicated below. and (b) it is brought to me no later than 2 days before the essay is due. 2008. Neill and Ridley (eds. It is the student’s responsibility to stay informed about where we are at every point in the semester. Attendance Policy: Students are allowed to miss two classes. 3rd edition). etc). I will need documentation (a withdrawal from the class is usually recommended in these cases).

8. handout will be provided) W: Music and emotion (no reading. AA 10th Week: March 12th -18th SPRING BREAK! 11th week: March 19th –23rd M: Part 3. AA 9th week: March 5th -9th M. AA W: Part 7.24th M. AA 13th week: April 2nd -6th M: Part 4. AA 12th week: March 26th – 30th M: Part 3. handout will be provided) 15th week: April 16th -20th W & W: catch-up and individual meetings to discuss papers TERM PAPER DUE Monday APRIL 16th . intro & chapter 18. AQ 5th Week: February 6th -10th M: Outline of theories of fiction and emotion (handout provided) W: Part 7. Introduction & Chapter 23. Arguing about Art (AA henceforth). AA W: Part 3. Review W. Chapter. AA W: Part 10. 7th week: February 20th . Chapter 6. chapter 17. Chapter 7.3 M: Chapter 4. AA W: Part 4. Introduction. chapter 19. Introduction. chapter 24. AA W: Part 8. chapter 16. Part 10. Chapter 9. Introduction.March 2nd M: Part 8. AA 14th week: April 9th -13th M: Music & ontology (no reading. Midterm 8th week: February 27th . AQ W: Chapter 5. 6th Week: February 14th – 18th M: Part 7. AA W: Part 4. AA.

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